OPINION: A Listening California Should Consult The Real Experts On Water

The Natural Resources Agency, California EPA, and California Department of Food and Agriculture want the public’s input on how best to manage and deal with an uncertain water supply in the future.

It seems every new administration in Sacramento must deal with water issues in California that never seem to get fixed.

Under the last administration, water rationing, increasing flows to the ocean, higher rates to customers, multi-billion dollar bonds, increased regulations, and a declaration of the human right to water obviously didn’t do the trick.


Environment Report: Officials Worry Water Notices Are More Confusing Than Informative

Two weeks ago, the San Diego County Water Authority notified thousands of customers across the region that San Diego’s main drinking water treatment plant wasn’t doing everything it was supposed to do to kill viruses and parasites.

We reported on this and rounded up other violations issued to local water agencies by state drinking water regulators.

A few water officials worried that the notices were likely to cause more alarm than necessary. Federal law requires that water agencies notify customers of drinking water issues.

5 U.S. Cities That Potentially Could Run Out Of Water

About 1,000 people arrive in Texas every day. The state’s population is expected to double by 2050 to more than 50 million people, according to the Associated Press. With drought a continual threat, water is a big worry in the Lone Star State. “The state is growing so fast that we’re constantly playing catch-up when it comes to building resilient water supplies,” Robert Mace, executive director of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, told AP. “The question is: When the bad times come will there be enough water for everybody?”

In Los Angeles ‘Water Colony’, Tribes Fear A Parched Future

When the first white settlers arrived in California’s remote eastern Owens Valley, the name given to its indigenous tribes was Paiute, or “land of flowing water” in the local language. But for more than a century, the water in the valley has flowed in just one direction: toward Los Angeles, nearly 300 miles (480 km) away. In the early 1900s, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) quietly bought up broad swathes of ranchland and its associated water rights in the once-lush valley, fringed by snow-capped peaks.

Marin Water Officials Heartened By Regional Supply Deal

Marin County water district officials expressed encouragement after an early agreement was reached that seeks to end longstanding conflicts of a major regional water supply 100 miles to the north. The agreement centers around the relicensing of the Potter Valley Project hydropower plant in Mendocino County, which holds a supply of water that affects fish, farmers and communities stretching from Marin to Humboldt counties. Sonoma Water, one of the main suppliers to Marin’s two water districts, draws water supplied by the power plant’s reservoirs.

Thirsty Silicon Valley Water Agency Might Buy A Central Valley Farm. Why Agriculture Is Worried

Once again, a big thirsty metropolis is looking at buying Central Valley farmland with an eye toward boosting its water supplies. And once again, neighboring farmers are nervous about it. Silicon Valley’s main water agency, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, confirmed Wednesday that it’s considering buying a 5,200-acre Merced County ranch. The district would build a groundwater storage bank beneath the ranch as a buffer during drought conditions.

OPINION: A Water Portfolio Planning Report Card For California

Governor Newsom recently called for a state portfolio of actions to manage water under rapidly changing climate and other conditions.  This post reviews the state of water portfolio planning in California today. In this complex changing world, major problems are rarely solved with a single solution or a single problem-solver. Portfolio-based planning and management tries to do many things in an organized and coordinated way, often wit

Shasta Dam Expansion: California, Conservation Groups Sue Water District Over Plan

The battle over Shasta Dam is escalating. This week, California’s attorney general and several fishing and conservation groups filed separate lawsuits to stop a controversial project to elevate the dam and expand the state’s largest reservoir, near Redding. “This project is unlawful,” wrote Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a statement announcing the state’s lawsuit. “

Maximizing Use Of Water Stored In Soil Could Result in Savings For Farmers

As California faces more frequent and severe droughts, agriculture, which relies on irrigation from surface water and groundwater, could become expensive and unsustainable. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, looked at using a “free” resource rain water stored in the soil and found that optimizing its use could go a long way to help meet demand for five California perennial crops. Their findings appear in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

See The Captivating Flux Of Western Alkaline Waters

Two million years ago, as glaciers carved much of North America, torrential rains flooded what is now the Western United States, forming vast lakes across the region. The only remnants of that era are millions of saline ponds, some so small that over a hundred can be concentrated into a square kilometer. These lakes are now quickly shrinking. With less runoff from snowpack, and more water being diverted for agriculture, the lakes’ levels are rapidly decreasing, becoming even higher in salt content.